WHY YOGA?

WHY YOGA?

Are There Benefits for the Boomer?

By Kater Leatherman

          Did you know that with yoga, you’re never too old to start? And did you also know that if you can move you can do yoga? And further, did you know that it will enhance your overall well-being?

So, why yoga? Well, it has been around for more than 4,000 years and with good reason. It can improve many conditions including back pain, arthritis and high blood pressure. It can also improve muscle strength, balance and flexibility, which can be instrumental in preventing injuries. And as we age, we’re aware of the weight gain issue. Yoga includes some weight-bearing poses that strengthen, and strengthening exercises burn calories for us all day long.

Nowadays classes can be found at local senior centers, assisted living facilities or at a local yoga studio. Consider a gentle class or chair yoga to start. Chair yoga is great if you have difficulty getting up and down off the floor.

For stress, restorative yoga is one of the most effective antidotes. It focuses on deep, supported poses using a combination of blankets, bolsters and blocks to allow for deep relaxation. And don’t rule out the more social kinds of yoga — partner yoga, laughter yoga or DOGA (dog yoga).

If the thought of taking a class with others makes you uncomfortable, rent a video from the library. Or go to YouTube and type in “gentle yoga” or “chair yoga” and follow along. Even some television programs offer yoga classes.

Yoga’s noncompetitive style will encourage you to focus on what your body can do. Before you begin a class, make sure the instructor knows if you have any physical problems that need to be addressed. Of course, first and foremost, practice requires listening to your body.

Studies show that people who do yoga have increased confidence and a more positive attitude. Yoga teaches you to live in the present moment, which neutralizes the worry and anxiety that comes with focusing on the past or future. Remember, too, that every time you breathe deeply you are oxygenating the blood and releasing impurities, one of the proponents of yoga.

So, why not move the energy in the body, mind and soul so that you can experience yourself in a whole new light? You may even find your doctor prescribing it. Yoga will change your life for the better.

Kater has been teaching yoga for more than 15 years. Currently, she teaches gentle, restorative and aerial yoga classes as well as DOGA in the Annapolis area. She can be reached at katerleatherman@gmail.com

 

 

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